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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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pass-cards in their possession, v/hile the District Commissars declared
they had received no instructions to issue them with such cards. And so
in the greater part of European Russia, (Archangel, the Vologda provinces,
the Republic of Komi, part of Asiatic Russia, Altay, Krasnoyarsk and
Yakuck provinces) where the majority of the Poles had been sent, they
were cut off from any means of rejoining the Polish forces. It is
important to stress here, that the Soviet Government had made no
attempt to release those Polish citizens who had previously been com-
pulsorily conscripted into the Red Army, as it had been decided upon in
the Agreement. When, however, the Poles insisted on the fulfilment of
that pledge and the Polish Ambassador pointed out to Molotovthat
Stalin had personally agreed to this in an interview with both Sikorski
and Anders, Alolotov denied it, stating there must have been some mis-
understanding. Thereupon, from the November of 1941^ the Russians
again began forcibly enlisting Polish citizens into the labour battalions
and a few months later, into the Red Army as well.
The Soviet's limitations in connection with the recruitment, combined
with the extraordinary non-appearance of the thousands of officers,
greatly obstructed the formation of the Polish Army. Several hundred
officers had been sent from Great Britain, but it was still insufficient to
fill every post in the new Army. In addition, some of them were not
able to reach their headquarters until four months laterófour months to
reach Tashkent from Archangel! And equipment and armaments had
still not arrived.
Both Russians and Poles finally had to confess themselves disappointed
in the results. The Poles had not made their expected appearance at
the frontódue to lack of armaments and officers, while the Russians
had also been unsuccessful in their efforts to master the Underground
Army in Poland. The Poles were to suffer a severe blow when it
was realised that the Kremlin, who, after the signing of the Treaty of
July 3Oth, 1941, and after having agreed to allow the creation of a Polish
Army, was now opposing this plan.
The Kremlin had begun to realise that this army inside Russia itself
would, from the political point of view, be a burden. As a One-Party
State in principle and practice, the Soviet Union does not permit any
independent organisation to exist on its territories.* The appearance in
* After achieving power, the Bolsheviks had retained a few national troops in
the Autonomic Republics, but eventually ceased even this pretence. The last to
perish in the campaign, for the consolidation of the f State Party' were the Ukrain-
ian troops. They were dissolved in 1935-7. In those years after the execution of
Yakir, the Commander of the Kiev military district and one of the heroes of the
Civil War, together with his entire staff, several thousand senior officers in the
Ukraine were arrested^ shot or exiled to labour camps. When the Red Army had
changed its structure and 'territorial divisions' disappeared^ nothing remained of
the Ukrainian troops. Only the names of local towns, as in the other Republics,
had bsen retained for certain regiments.